3 May 2010

20 outstanding Illustrator tutorials

Score yourself new vector skills with this collection of our Illustratorguides from the past year

It's high time for another round-up of our Illustrator tutorials to save you the pain of having to search for them yourself.

Incredibly, since the last time we did an Illustratorround-up we've managed to acquire another 20 tutorials from an assortment of highly talented people, covering a splendid range ofIllustrator topics. Cast your eye down this latest list and you'll see contributions from the likes of Jessica Walsh, James Wignall, Peskimo, Lunartik and Tom Lane, covering subjects as diverse as typography, portraiture, isometric art and logo design.

It's not just Illustrator, either; quite a few of tutorials in this collection encourage you to use Illustrator as a stage in your workflow, to create work that you can then continue in other packages to give your finished imagery a less obviously vector look.

There's advice here suitable for everyone from beginners to Illustratorexperts, so jump in and you should find just the thing to raise your skills to the next level. Enjoy!

1. Design organic type

Sarah Coleman reveals a digital shortcut to recreate an organic hand-made type effect, usually achieved using lots of ink and bleach

2. Design lettering with negative space

Jawa and Midwich reveal how to utilise hundreds of illustrations to build up a positive space containing negative letters

3. Bring your themes to life in type

blindSALIDA shows you how to reflect your image’s inspiration through type, using Illustrator to generate a blown-about lettering effect for a song title

4. Texturise your layered vectors

Pokedstudio shares some techniques for creating multi-layered vector-based images that also have a textured, collaged look

5. Create retro-look vectors

James Wignall, AKA Mutanthands, demonstrates how to take your digital vector illustrations back in time

6. Create your own monster

How do you give a fictional creature a distinct personality? Peskimo explain how to design a convincing monster

7. Cast a designer toy

Collectable figures are a massive global industry. Lunartik reveals how to get your hands dirty and make your designs a reality

8. Roughen up your vector work

Vector work and an authentic look needn’t be mutually exclusive, as Ollie Munden proves by bringing hand-drawn details to bold vector art

9. Geometric shape and pattern explorations

Shape up with oriental-inspired illustrations, made easy by designer Tom Lane

10. Give your sketches a facelift

Chris Malbon reveals how to transform your old doodles into cutting edge portfolio-boosting work

11. Create an iconic logo design

Jacob Cass shares his insider knowledge on how to create a simple but effective logo design

12. Re-style street art

Bored with graffiti-style graphics? Daniel Westwood demonstrates how to put a modernist twist on street art staples

13. Perfect vector portraiture

Digital portraiture is as in demand as ever, particularly for editorial. Simeon Elson shows you how to get in on the act the easy way, whatever your style

14. Design seamless character patterns

Repetitive character prints are everywhere. Lo-Fi Creative’s Anna Wray shows you the fast route to creating your own

15. Playful typographic treatments

The possibilities for adding humorous appeal to your type designs are limitless. Jessica Walsh shows you how to whip your letters into shape

16. Cross-platform character design

Ben Mounsey shows you how to create characters that are easily transferable across the range of modern ad display mediums

17. Illustrate Havaianas’ world

Adhemas Batista reveals how to carry a visual style across different media for a big-name brand

18. Isometric vector art made easy

Aaron Miller demonstrates how to take the pain out of pixel art

19. Create a typographical logomark

Ariel Di Lisio reveals how to transform an existing font into a unique, attention-grabbing logo

20. Master repeat plaid patterns

Digital textile design specialist Melanie Bowles shows how to create a signature plaid and prepare it for print

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